Jooeun (Jay) Kang
Jay is a first-generation MD/PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM). Her father worked for the Korean Foreign Services, so she spent half of her childhood in Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire, middle school in Belgium, and high school in Egypt. She received her undergraduate B.A in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. During college she spent most of her time doing her thesis research on molecular mediators of breast cancer metastasis. During sophomore year, she was first introduced to the dual-degree track by a summer research mentor at the NIAID, and was drawn to the bench-to-bedside opportunities that MD/PhDs are best trained for. While she applied to medical school right out of college, she didn't get any acceptances. She then spent two years as a Cardiothoracic Surgery research specialist in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania studying the degradation of clotting proteins after implantation of left ventricular assist devices. She was accepted to VUSM in 2016 and is currently in her graduate phase getting her PhD in the Human Genetics department. She currently studies the genetics of suicide attemptm seeking new discoveries in the molecular mechanisms involved in psychiatric diseases using genetic and electronic health record tools. As a physician scientist, Jay aspires to build her career on building and optimizing tools for better risk stratification, treatment response prediction, and adverse event prevention.